By Cindy Rodriguez


Gov. David Paterson signed a bill into law this weekend that allows sex trafficking victims to vacate their criminal convictions. Victim advocates say the legislation is the first of its kind in the country.


Over the past few years there's been a push by advocates to treat former prostitutes that were forced or coerced into sex work as victims instead of criminals.


LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - Three men who sought to hold the Vatican liable in an American court for sexual abuses by Roman Catholic priests in a Kentucky diocese are abandoning the case.


Lawyers looked to question Pope Benedict XVI under oath but had to leap the high legal hurdle of the Vatican's sovereign immunity status in the U.S. But plaintiffs filed a motion on Monday asking a federal judge in Louisville to dismiss their claims.


By Sima Kotecha


American law enforcement agencies are being accused of not doing enough to combat the problem of child prostitution.


The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the United States estimates that between 100,000 and 300,000 American children are forced into prostitution every year - sometimes through being kidnapped near their homes.


Some are as young as 12 years old.




TRINIDAD, Colo. — This picturesque southern Colorado town known for decades as the sex-change capital of the world — thousands of gender-reassignment operations have been performed here — is becoming a beacon for victims of female genital mutilation.


Dr. Marci Bowers has performed about two dozen reconstructive surgeries on mostly African born women victimized as children by the culturally driven practice of female circumcision. Bowers is believed to be one of the few U.S. doctors performing the operation.


UNITED NATIONS, Aug 5, 2010 (IPS) - As the U.N. investigates new allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, most troop contributing countries continue to evade accounting for how they handle disciplinary actions.


A senior U.N. official who asked for anonymity told IPS, "Although there have been statistical reductions in the number of allegations, sexual abuse involving peacekeepers is still rampant, despite pronouncements that they have been curbed."


By Faith Karimi


(CNN) -- A Sudanese rebel group has signed a deal allowing access to its bases to ensure children are not being used as soldiers and to protect them from sexual violence, the United Nations said.


As part of the agreement Wednesday, the rebels pledged to release and hand over to the United Nations anyone under age 18 caught up in the Darfur conflict.


The Justice and Equality Movement rebels also agreed to release children "not directly associated" with the group but used by others in the conflict.


By Hilary Hylton


By Don Aucoin


CHESTNUT HILL-- With just a few clicks of her desktop computer’s keyboard in her home office here, Gail Dines travels to a place she wishes did not exist: a pornographic website.


The images seem designed to maximize the women’s humiliation, a point that is not lost on Dines. “If you really watch it carefully, you can see that they’re in pain, exhausted, demoralized,’’ she says, looking somberly at the screen.


By Justin Fenton


Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said a focus on homicides and nonfatal shooting investigations may have contributed to neglect of growing problems with the way the department investigated sex offenses.


Bealefeld also said that the department no longer will allow patrol officers to dismiss rape claims at the crime scene, something that accounts for nearly four in 10 rape calls to 911 failing to generate a police report. All claims will now be referred to specialized detectives, he said.


Newswise — Adolescent sex offenders are often stereotyped and treated as socially inept, but new research negates this image, finding that they are more likely to be characterized by atypical sexual interests -- such as desire for prepubescent children, coercive sex with peers and adults, and exposing their genitals to strangers. Adolescent sex offenders are also more likely to have a history of sexual abuse themselves, been exposed to sexual violence in their families, and experienced early exposure to sex or pornography.



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